There’s no doubt that dating can be both fun and meaningful, but everyone knows that it can also be heartbreaking and challenging. If you find yourself getting constantly frustrated by repeated splits and breakups, you might just need to reassess your understanding of dating. To begin to fix your problems, you first have to understand what they are. Start by checking out the following dating faux pas, and what to do to work around them:
1. “Winging it”: The famous adage “If you stand for nothing, you fall for anything” also has a place in the realm of dating. Far too many times, people wind up in bad relationships because they entered it without any knowledge of what they wanted. The problem with this approach is that dating is a process, and how you approach it always determines the outcome. For example, if you are seeking a long-term relationship and commitment, rushing into the physical parts of a relationship won’t help. That’s why it’s important to know what you want before you start dating so that you can come up with a dating strategy that will maximize your success. If only someone would have mentioned this to Halle Berry 15 years ago.
2. Not understanding chemistry’s role in love: You meet at a coffee shop and feel this insane connection. You check to see if they feel it too, and low and behold, they do. Don’t rush to assume that it’s love at first sight. That intense connection you feel is a chemical process called limerence. It evolved in humans to help keep men and women together while raising children. It’s not love, but rather one of the main ingredients needed for long-term love. There’s a lot more at play than just limerence, however. Without plutonic compatibility, or similar beliefs and values, you just have friends with benefits, not love. Someone needs to let Jennifer Lopez know that with Casper Smart, it’s not love, it’s limerence!
3. Forgetting your animal nature: The world has changed in many ways that have made dating practices and roles much harder to define. Who opens doors? Who pays for whom? Who wears the pants in the relationship? But at the end of the day, we’re human animals, so the rules of the jungle still apply. Men and women might be equal, but they’re still different, with one key difference being size. Ladies, you’re smaller, so it’s important to make sure that you date men who make you feel safe and comfortable. Men, take extra care to let women know that you aren’t a threat. Speak softly, smile, listen and open the door. This doesn’t have anything to do with your ego, it’s because you are literally larger. Check out Beyoncé Knowles, an intelligent female animal who loves it, as does her husband, Jay-Z!
Kongit Farrell is a Strategic Life & Relationship Coach, and author who specializes in individual and couples counseling. She received her B.S. in Communication from the University of Southern California, and her M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University. She applied her knowledge while working for the Clinton Administration in the Communication Office. Kongit has published numerous articles on mental health, and her first e-book She’s Worth the Chase won critical acclaim. Most recently, Kongit appeared on Lifetime’s morning show The Balancing Act to discuss her book. She is currently finishing her second book Dating the Natural Way: How to use Biology as a Guide for Healthy and Harmonious Relationships.